One of the last members of a group of determined, far-sighted women who saved the area around Kerikeri's Stone Store from a developer's bulldozers has died aged 98.

Joyce Doreen Mason passed away in Kerikeri on May 27. She was buried at St James Anglican Church, a stone's throw from the historic reserve she helped save.

Her funeral was held in the Ted Robinson Memorial Chapel, at Kerikeri Retirement Village, on Friday.

Along with the late author and historian Nancy Pickmere, Mason was a founder member of the Society for the Preservation of the Kerikeri Stone Store Area (Spokssa).


One morning in the 1960s the women were horrified to see bulldozers at work on the kainga (village) adjoining Hongi Hika's Kororipo Pa overlooking the Stone Store, where more than 100 houses were planned.

After years of fundraising, lobbying and legal battles, they managed to halt the subdivision and persuaded the Government to buy the land for a historic reserve.

Mason, who was for decades Spokssa's secretary, was honoured by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust in 2003. In 2005 she was honoured by the Far North District Council for almost 40 years' service to the Kerikeri Beautification Society.

Heritage New Zealand Northland manager Bill Edwards described her as ''an amazing woman'' involved in many different things at a community level. Together with other Spokssa members she was instrumental in saving Kerikeri Basin for posterity.

She is survived by three children and six grandchildren.

Nancy Pickmere died in 2012, also aged 98.